How To Beat The Seasonal Blues With The Bach Flower Remedies
“Health exists when there is perfect harmony between Soul, mind and body; this harmony, and this harmony alone, must be attained before a cure can accomplished.” ~ Dr. Edward Bach
Many people experience the blues during the change of seasons. This seems particularly strong when transitioning from winter to spring and summer to fall. It is during these times of the year that there is the biggest shift in energies as we move from yin to yang (inner to outer) or yang to yin (outer to inner). We can also see how in the spring there is a birthing process that occurs in nature and in the autumn, there is a dying process. This occurs in nature and it is something we experience in ourselves, too.
These transitional times of year tend to stir lots of emotions and can be a powerful time to let go of feelings, patterns and beliefs, which no longer serve us. Although letting go can be a positive thing, it can also bring up a sense of loss. This can have to do with feeling loss for a part of ourselves, a way of life we have known or it can have to do with feeling there is something we are longing for in our lives that is missing. Transition itself can be something that brings up a sense of loss as we move from one way of being to another.
When I was younger, I struggled with deep depression. I found these seasonal transitions to be one of the most challenging times of year, often dropping into an almost suicide-like depression. It took me many years of working on myself and my healing process to understand how the energetic shifts of nature were affecting me. I came to know and expect the coming changes of the seasons as a time when my emotions would stir and need attention, just as a garden needs tending at various times of year.
As human beings, living in a modern, technological society, we have a tendency to separate ourselves from the natural world. This disconnection does us a disservice to ourselves and often keeps us from experiencing the deeper essence of who we are. As we begin to embrace ourselves as part of the natural order of things and to work with the constantly changing energies of nature, we have an opportunity to move into greater balance, joy and ease of well-being. To achieve this, it is important to find practices and tools that help to deepen our connection to the natural world and make them a part of our ongoing practice of self-care and personal growth.
One of the best tools I have found to support these seasonal transitions as well as to help us be in greater harmony overall are the Bach Flower Remedies. Created by the visionary Dr. Edward Bach, the Bach Flower Remedies are flower essences that support emotional balance and ease of well-being. They work vibrationally to bring a positive energy or quality from a particular flower into our energy field, transmuting an aspect of ourselves that is out of harmony or alignment with our soul purpose and with the unity of all things. By nature, the remedies connect us to the healing energy of the natural world and to our own innate healing abilities. (Read my post The Bach Flower Remedies: A Tool For Transformation for an overview of the Bach Flower Remedies).
One of Dr. Bach’s core messages is to “treat the person, not the disease”. In working with the Bach Flower Remedies, we do not diagnose or address any specific medical or mental condition. We look at each person individually – where they are in the moment, what they are experiencing and what feelings are at the surface on a daily basis. When we speak of depression or the blues in the Bach Flower System, we are talking about depressive feelings, despondency, sadness, etc. It is important to acknowledge that these are natural feelings to have at various times in our lives and that some people are more predisposed to certain feelings and personality traits, which is often an indication of where our personal healing work lies.
In the Bach Flower System, there are a number of remedies that address “the blues”; these relate to how a person experiences feelings of despondency and despair. Also, in looking at seasonal blues, it may be important to address adjusting to transition itself as well as some of the effects of transition such as fatigue. Here are some remedies, which may be beneficial in providing support during seasonal transitions and beyond:
Star of Bethlehem is for sorrow, grief, sadness and loss. Autumn is a time when these types of feelings can tend to be at the surface, just as nature is going through a “dying” process, we can tend to feel a sense of loss. Star of Bethlehem also is a remedy for trauma, both current and past. (Learn more about Star Of Bethlehem: The Remedy Of Comfort)
Gentian is for a sense of discouragement. This tends to come from feelings of setback, delays, failures or difficulties that come from a known reason such as life changes (e.g loss of a job/relationship, mid-life crisis, menopause, etc.) It may include feeling easily dejected, doubtful and disappointed. There can also be a strong tendency toward pessimism connected with the Gentian state.
Gorse is for hopelessness and despair. There is a feeling that nothing more can be done; often a person feels resigned or has given up in some way, particularly on the inside. A Gorse state may exhibit a “what’s the use” attitude; it is not uncommon for people in this state to be suffering from a chronic disease with a feeling like they have tried everything that can be done and there is just no more hope.
Sweet Chestnut is for a sense of deep anguish; there is a feeling that one has reached their limits of endurance. This type tends to feel as if the very foundation of their life has been torn away and they can bear no more loss. It is akin to the “dark night of the soul”.
Mustard is for a black gloom depression that tends to come and go for no known reason. This can be a deep gloom or feeling of melancholy that is often described as a dark cloud that descends on a person for a time and then just as magically disappears for no reason, but the pattern is one that perpetuates. The person in this state is at the mercy of their feelings until they move out on their own accord and they feel they are back in the blue skies and sunshine once again.
Walnut is the remedy of change and transition. It can be of great support when we are having difficulty adjusting to a transition. This can include seasonal changes, life stages such as adolescence or menopause, and life changes such as a new job, marriage, birth of child, etc. This remedy is also known as the great “spellbreaker” of the past and can support us as we move out of outmoded patterns, feelings and beliefs, which can be part of our seasonal letting go process. (Learn more about Walnut: The Remedy Of Change & Transition)
Finally, I just like to mention that often during these seasonal transitions, there is a tendency to feel fatigue. Most people view fatigue as something being wrong, but I’d like to suggest that particularly in times of transition, added rest is what we need. Rest creates time and space for the integration of all that we are experiencing on the levels of body, mind, emotion and spirit. Particularly, in this shift toward winter, added rest is needed to support healthy immune function and overall well-being; getting adequate rest is often the best way to address our fatigue.
If fatigue is something that continues, there are two remedies that may be beneficial:
Olive is for a sense of total exhaustion with no reserve energy. This tends to be on the physical, mental and spiritual level. This is a deep tiredness with a feeling of being washed out. There is a need for much sleep and rest.
Hornbean is a remedy that supports more of a mental exhaustion. It is kind of like that “Monday morning” feeling; there is an uncertainty of how one will manage as the day begins but usually there is enough energy to get going once we begin.
The Bach Flower Remedies offer a natural, energetic support which helps to bring us into greater alignment with our Soul, creating balance and ease of well-being. The most important thing during seasonal transitions and really always is to listen to the needs of our body, mind, emotion and spirit. There is so much wisdom inside of us and as we open to discovering the healer within, we move into greater harmony, joy and ease of well-being.
Feel free to drop a note if you have questions or would like to share your reflections on using the Bach Flower Remedies for seasonal transitions and beyond.
Beth Terrence is a BFRP, Bach Flower Registered Practitioner with The Bach Centre in the UK, home of Dr. Edward Bach. Bach Flower Remedy consultations are an integral part of her Integrative Transformational Healing Programs for individuals. She teaches and speaks on the Bach Flower Remedies at live events in the MD/DC area and via teleseminar. Additionally, Beth writes a “Bach Flower Of The Month” post on her blog, The Heart Of Awakening: Searching For A New Paradigm. Learn more about Beth’s work with the Bach Flower Remedies and Integrative Transformational Healing Programs at www.bethterrence.com or contact her for a complimentary 20 minute consultation to explore discovering the healer within.